Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Possible Bags

Have been keeping busy by clearing out some of my fabric stash. I have made "knitting bags" for many years now, sort of a stow and go bag that is a pretty carryall for the current knitting project. It is also a colorful bag that is easy to locate when knitting travels with you around the house. Sizes for the bags are variable, since I buy fabric remnants or 2/3 of a yard lengths, but the average bag size is 15"L x 12"W. The bags have a simple ribbon drawstring and are usually 100% cotton, so they can be washed. Obviously, they can be used for anything; I have used them for shoes in my suitcase, they also have organized kids toys on road trips. Anyway, shall be bringing about 25! to knitting club next week. Sitting at the sewing machine, cranking out these bags has become my current relaxing distraction activity, since the extreme heat this week has limited my gardening time.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Traveling Woman Shawl

Perhaps the name of this shawl is a portent of travels to come... I purchased this lovely pattern before I found the right yarn and added it to my pattern notebook, which is really just another version of a yarn stash, except it's ideas and paper. The pattern is available on Ravelry: 
I chose to do the pattern in Berrocco Boboli Lace, 350 yds, in color #4350 it reminds me of fall... both the leaves and brilliant skies. The yarn is a wool/acrylic/viscose mix of varying gauge, the thick bits aren't too lumpy, but the thinnest sections were very thin, think button weight thread. This was an easy and very satisfying knit. The yarn blocked beautifully and my new shawl will certainly be a lovely autumn accent to my wardrobe.

Sunday, June 12, 2016


Graduation is under my belt and I am just waiting for my diploma to arrive in the mail to close that chapter in my life. It is a major habit change to not log onto my university site the moment my laptop boots. In fact, the university site looks totally alien and empty without any classes queued. Add that strangeness to the fact that my desk is now clean! There are no more piles of notes, or textbooks strewn around. I threw out all the post-it notes and sticky tabs that were stuck everywhere, then returned the stack of library references balanced atop my printer. It took a full trash bag to organize the mounds of paper that had accumulated while I cranked out reports and studied for finals. I temporarily became an obsessive organizer and sorted through everything in my entire bedroom, once I cleared the desk area, then I started on the rest of the house. It is amazing how things get shoved aside when the busy-ness of life distracts.

So, the house, closets, kitchen and basement got a long delayed clean out and I got a streamlined environment. Then, I got cited for weeds by the Department of Community Development. Spurred by the threatening code enforcement letter, I transferred all my efforts to the yard. The lawn mower got fixed and used, a blueberry enclosure was created and we got to work trimming and detailing the gardens. Admittedly, both the front and back yards were looking neglected, so the violation letter was the "kick in the pants" I needed to get focused. Now, after almost a month of effort I am proud of the home that for the last six months I have merely sheltered within.

The blueberry shelter is constructed similarly to the small rose arbor I made last May in the front yard. See here Materials: 3-10' lengths of 1/2" PVC pipe; 6-2' lengths of rebar; 1 package of bird netting; and I found the 1/2" black plastic fencing under a workbench in the garage. Finally, a staple gun and some zip-ties/pipe cleaners anchored the netting to the fencing and the enclosure was complete. I also sulphured and mulched these six spindly blueberry bushes in hopes that next year we will have more fruit. Looks pretty sharp!

It has been very hot for early June 97F/36C, so the roses bloomed in about a week, then faded. The daylilies and the orange butterfly weed (asclepias tuberosa) are the current bloomers. The hummingbirds have been buzzing around the yard with all the bright flowers. I have three feeders up, two in the front yard and one in the back to provide extra fluid for these tiny birds while we endure this extreme & early heat.

Big projects done, I have also completed a shawl and have been applying for jobs. While I am anxious to get to work I do appreciate this bit of extra time to re-order my life.